The Power of Persistence – Pushing through the Mantra

The key to one’s success in life is an absolute refusal to quit. Persistence, you see, usually pays off. Persistence most often pays off. Persistence damn well had better pay off!

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The Trifextra challenge for this weekend is to follow the structure from James’ quote below, with a max 33 word limit:

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. –Henry James

I’m especially fond of James’ quote and wish more folks would live by it. As for my copycat version, it requires folks simply to keep living at all as the main criteria to meet its mark.

Related Article:

Why Dilapidated Love Trumps All

Travel Theme: Sculpture

Ailsa, at Where’s My Backpack? has put out a travel photography challenge this week on Sculpture.


Come travel into my classroom and see the anatomical sculptures my students make:

Playdough Lab 1

Playdough Lab 2…and then…how we slice through the model organs and vessels to better understand body & scan planes.

(This little exercise also helps them to understand that I carry a cleaver to class with me…just kidding, of course!)


Why Dilapidated Love Trumps All

She loved him, not just because he had withstood his projected passing of time in their relationship, but because he’d proven he was willing to weather all manner of harsh conditions on behalf of her and others. It was as if he sensed how much she loved being a part of this place, how in love she was with the people of this land, how desperate she was each and every time to lend a hand when they were at their greatest need. And he showed he understood by consistently coming through.

A twinge of guilt sometimes ran through her whenever she thought about her original suspicions the day he’d first come into her life. She had grimaced that his tint couldn’t have been a worse match for her – all sparkly white – as he exited the cargo plane without exhibiting even the tiniest flaw on his body. “Whew, you are gorgeous,” she’d mumbled. “You won’t fit in here.” She’d begrudgingly slid behind his wheel. He’d revved in protest to her claim as they’d crunched through underbrush; bounced through merciless, mud-filled potholes; crossed a river whose flow didn’t cease across his floorboards. He’d wanted her to understand that wasn’t going to dampen his spirits.

By the time they’d reached their destination and the mud had sufficiently baked into his body, he could tell that her confidence in him had increased somewhat. On the day he helped transport the first two tiny malaria victims 15 miles across that rugged terrain to the mission hospital, where their young lives were saved, he knew he’d won her heart.

She hadn’t called him by name for the longest time. Truth was, that was the one thing that left him feeling as though he might not ever really belong here – with her. So don’t you know his motor hummed on the day that she walked out and noticed a difference in his wear and tear, his first rusty patch?

Russ is now assured his heart belongs here too.

As you can see, “Russ” (and those like him) haven’t chosen the posh and easy lifestyle


This 333-word story was written in response to the Trifecta Weekly Challenge…but was also written to honor those who give the very best of their hearts & themselves in mission work around the world. (I have a particular fondness for many of my friends who do their greatest work in South Sudan. Though by the world’s standards, we are never on the same time, I’m so glad you are always on God’s time. All my love, -j)

Fun Sidenote (for me, anyway): About 30 minutes after I completed this story & scheduled this post, I received a text from my teenage son, out of the blue, informing me he’d decided on a name for his truck. (Backing up, this is his first vehicle & he used his entire life savings of birthday, holiday, and lawn mowing money to purchase it on his own. It has a lot of character, so I told him a couple of weeks ago he needed a good name for it.) The name he finally chose, you ask? Bocephus. I’ve been given permission to call him “Bo” for short.

If you’re interested in joining the Trifecta challenge this week, here’s the scoop:

This week’s word is:

RUSTY  (3rd definition)

3a : of the color rust  

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

– See more at:

Travel Theme: Riding Out the Ripple Effect

When we were in Amsterdam, it would have been highly improbable to have overlooked the abundance of weather vanes atop buildings. It would’ve been absolutely impossible for the abundance of bicycles to have gone unnoticed.

Living in a place where I often feel I’m the target of deranged drivers when trying to share the road while cycling, this was fascinating to me. Not only are bikes chained up one to another along the roads, but there’s an entire garage – just for bicycles!

As awesome as this is, I can’t help but wonder when this RIPPLE EFFECT began…

Thought I’d share a couple of Amsterdam pics that show both the water’s rippling effect, along with the bicycle crowding effect.

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This post is in response to Ailsa’s Wheresmybackpack travel photo challenge on RIPPLES.

Why don’t you follow the link above & post one too? Then I’ll feel like I was part of this ripple effect! 🙂

A Flagged Foto


This was a farewell foto before I left the beach last fall.

The view of the grass dunes just before accessing the white sand is so lovely, the blues of the water so intensely enticing…the eye (along with the body) is tempted to be drawn out to sea without even noticing the included message in the photo.

Perhaps the flags could go unnoticed (look to your right – yellow for caution regarding swim condition warnings, such as a deceptively hidden undertow; and blue for caution of problematic marine life, such as the jellyfish who were swarming).

In this case, the alerts are tucked away to the side to serve as an after-thought to the viewer, after he or she has been pulled by desire to heed the siren’s call.


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes:

Earlier this week, photographer Ming Thein gave us an overview of the fundamentals of photography and talked about observing your subject or scene and what’s needed to create a good photograph. We see many excellent shots out there in which a photographer’s intent is clear: where he or she leads us to the photo’s subject or main focus — using light, composition, and other criteria — and is able to convey what they see in their mind at the moment of capture.

It’s that little extra something in a snapshot that transforms a photograph into something more: a visual interpretation of one’s vision. A story, captured in a frame. It’s that special skill that Ming mentioned — the photographer’s eye.

Some of you are active photographers, while others are only beginning to take pictures. Whatever your skill, we challenge you to take and share a photograph that shows a command of your frame. Lead our eyes somewhere. Make us focus on something.


Related Link:

Beach Warning Flags

Proper Enemy Poisoning Procedure

  1. Poison your own mind against your target. Won’t achieve your goal.
  2. Poison others against your mark. Eventually fails too.
  3. Not until poisoning the person against himself will you succeed. Third time’s the charm.


Trifecta has offered the follow Trifextra weekend challenge:  This weekend we’re asking for 33 of your own words inspired by the idiom, third time’s the charm. – See more at:

Turn my little three-step procedure around and think on how many times you’ve allowed someone to use this recipe of disaster on you successfully, and how many times you’ve willingly swallowed the poison and let it process in your soul.

This recipe is exactly why we’re encouraged to guard our minds and our hearts, to take our thoughts and motivations captive.

I hope in providing you with this modus operandi, you are able to see beyond it to my true wish for you, my friend – that you will learn to use the antidote – to speak positives over your lives and over the lives of others.

Under the Sun

the village rises with her

The village of Ligitolo, rising with the sun

I was once engaged in debate in which my interjections must have been brilliant because I was a teenager at the time – thus, I knew everything there was to know. My debate opponent was my grandmother who had lived out many years of her experience, so I had to give her that one. I really respected her opinion more, though, because I was flesh of her flesh and bone of her bones. Surely that meant we shared some genetic material with genius potential. Nevertheless, I still had trouble trusting what she was saying. Our conversation went something like this:

“Granny, you just don’t understand. Things are different. Times have changed.”

“Yes, dear, times have changed. But people haven’t. Ecclesiastes points out, ‘There is nothing new under the sun.’”

She had pulled out the big guns on me. I admired her quick response on the subject matter, so much so that I decided I’d give her that one – for that day. I didn’t realize at the time what an impact our conversation would make on me for the remaining years of my life. As I’ve lived, I’ve almost developed it as a mantra. I’ve watched many changes in techniques, policies, interactions and technology. Yet, her remark is standing its own test of time.

though times, they may change;
people, they never differ –
always wanting more


This week’s 2 Līgo Haībun prompts are:

The sun      [or]      Childhood memory of summer camps

I decided to combine the Ecclesiastes verse about the sun, along with a memory from early teenage-hood.

The Līgo haībun format is as follows:

A paragraph (more than one paragraph is fine, or just a few sentences) in prose form


  • the haiku/collection of haiku related to the text to close. The haiku should be as authentic as possible, with therefore no syllable count, no capitals or full stop, all ideally making 220 word max, all inclusive
  • each week there is a choice of two prompt words or phrases, or two visuals. Please choose one for your theme
  • wear the Līgo badge to the right with pride on your blog! And pin the Circle of Appreciation to your blog too if it is in the haibun Honourably Mentioned in Despatches each week!

Travel Theme: Going with the FLOW

Ailsa at Wheresmybackpack has put up a travel theme challenge on FLOW.

I spent last week away from work, going with the FLOW. One of those places was at Linville Falls

As much as I am a whitewater enthusiast, I enjoyed this flow from the bank and from overlooks through my lens, though.

As beautiful as these falls are, they don’t necessarily have the kindest historical reputation, being known as an execution site used by Native Americans because of the associated danger. Even the smaller upper falls are dangerous because of the churning rapids that lie just beneath them and that will ultimately pull a “swimmer” down into the gap between the levels of falls. If you were to survive those churning hydraulics pulling you under in the “in between,” even if they spit you out, the sharp turns that would bang you into the oncoming rocks would likely leave you never knowing you had gone over the greater fall beneath.

One kayaker has been recorded making this run and surviving, that I know of to date. (Did I also mention it would be illegal for you to try this?)


One of the upper pair of falls


The other of the upper pair of falls


Flowing from the upper pool towards the lower pool – don’t miss the higher water lines that have shaped the outcroppings over the centuries


The upper pool with its pair of falls


Churning drop in the “in between”

feeding the lower fall

Feeding the lower fall

A bird's eye view of Linville Falls

A bird’s eye view of Linville Falls